Minor League Wrap (7/11-17/11)

Jay Yencich · July 18, 2011 at 8:30 am · Filed Under Mariners, Minor Leagues 

Monday of last week, 7th-round pick 3B Steve Proscia and 22nd-round pick RHP John Taylor signed. Since then, nothing. No new draft news, no new international news. Taijuan Walker and James Paxton both made Baseball America’s Prospect Hot Sheet though, so there is that. There was also a Geoff Baker piece which references the allegations against the buscon of Esteilon Peguero and others and clarifies why Peguero hasn’t gotten his bonus yet. The short of it is that the rules have changed and the money is now held in escrow until a prospect turns eighteen. Oh, and there was that Peguero/Carp thing, which is probably good for us in the long run.

To the jump!

Tacoma Rainiers (3-1 this week, 47-48 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, July 11th 2011
All-star break

Tuesday, July 12th 2011
All-star break

Wednesday, July 13th 2011
All-star break

Thursday, July 14th 2011
Salt Lake 1 (ANA – 14), Tacoma 6
W: Seddon (6-5, 5.64) L: Chatwood (0-1, 4.50)

Friday, July 15th 2011
Salt Lake 7 (ANA – 15), Tacoma 8
W: Patterson (3-1, 3.62) L: Jepsen (1-3, 4.45)

Saturday, July 16th 2011
Salt Lake 1 (ANA – 16), Tacoma 4
W: French (6-6, 5.59) L: Junge (5-7, 5.19) S: Lueke (10)

Sunday, July 17th 2011
Salt Lake 5 (ANA – 15), Tacoma 2
W: Bay (7-5, 4.53) L: Vasquez (1-2, 4.58) S: Ramirez (5)

Hitter of the Week:
CF Ryan Langerhans, L/L, 2/20/1980
4 G, 16 AB, 5 R, 5 H, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 6/3 K/BB, .313/.421/.875

After Sunday’s showing, Mike Carp was called up to replace Carlos Peguero. I don’t really have a problem with that. Carp, after all, has slugged twenty-one home runs in his sixty-six games at Tacoma, which even with his ups and downs is tied for fifth in the league (ahead of him: Bryan LaHair). I kind of wish Langerhans were still on the 40-man though, because we could expect better defense, and if we’re comparing relative heat of bats, Carp is .296/.424/.556 in a rather limited July sample, not bad, whereas Langerhans is .364/.444/.727. We have a centerfielder in Tacoma who has an on-base percentage of well over .400 and a slugging of nearly .600, and we can’t seem to find a spot for him. Langerhans may have had a poor average in his centerfield stint, but he has more home runs from that position, still, than all of the other guys we’ve put out there combined.

A 6/8 K/BB and Four Home Runs in Last Ten Games Mention:
3B Alex Liddi, R/R, 8/14/1988
4 G, 13 AB, 3 R, 4 H, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1/4 K/BB, .308/.471/.769

Farewell Mention:
LF Mike Carp, L/R, 6/30/1986
4 G, 13 AB, 3 R, 5 H, HR, 2/2 K/BB, .385/.467/.615

Sample Size Fun Mention:
SS Sean Kazmar, R/R, 8/5/1984
4 G, 12 AB, 3 R, 4 H, 2B, HR, RBI, CS, 2/1 K/BB, .333/.429/.667

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Luke French, 9/13/1985
1-0, GS, 1.29 ERA in 7.0 IP, 5 H, R, 1/2 K/BB, 12/6 G/F

We’ve talked about pitcher development, and how it’s more difficult to tell when they might make a plateau leap or how long they’ll be able to stay there whereas the development of hitters tends to be more steady. French is a case for the possibility of guys dropping, as I’ve made the argument already when comparing this triple-A season to previous ones. So here’s more weirdness on that front: for the season, he’s still averaging nearly six innings per start, and hasn’t been below five in a start since June 4th, when he walked eight and had seven runs score through four and two-thirds innings. Speaking of walks, in the last ten starts, he’s gone 61.0 innings and run an even 28/28 K/BB, which means that in his prior eight starts, he pitched 43.2 innings and had a 25/11 K/BB. Even if you took out that crazy June 4th outing, it still wouldn’t seem as though his command has gotten better as the season’s gone on.

Best July Appearance (Not Saying Much) Mention:
LHP Chris Seddon, 10/13/1983
1-0, GS, 1.42 ERA in 6.1 IP, 8 H, R, 5/3 K/BB, 4/4 G/F

Nice, Except for the Dingers Mention:
LHP Anthony Vasquez, 9/19/1986
0-1, GS, 3.86 ERA in 7.0 IP, 6 H (2 HR), 3 R, 6/2 K/BB, 4/3 G/F, 2 PO

From The Training Room:
When C Jose Yepez was successfully outrighted off of the 40-man, C Trevor Coleman was free to go back to High Desert… That move came before the lower priority one that could wait until the Rainiers actually played, which was 3B Alex Liddi coming off the inactive list and UT Jorge Agudelo going to Everett again…. LHP Mauricio Robles was moved up again, this time to Tacoma, where he ended last season. Of course, over his six starts spread between the Cal League and the Southern League, he had a 15/19 K/BB. RHP Charlie Haeger was released in the corresponding move, which means I can no longer identify knuckleball starts without paying attention to who was pitching. I don’t know if Robles at this stage will end up with a better or worse K/BB from that spot than Haeger had.

Strange Happenings:
The shortened week left us with fewer oddities to speak of. Josh Lueke pitched two-thirds of an inning and struck out one, five of eight pitches going for strikes. Mike Curto spent the day of the all-star game talking smack about the International League over his twitter account. He also noted, on his blog, that when the Rainiers recently hit .500 (it didn’t last long), it was the first time that they had reached that mark since they were 2-2 on April 10th. Curto also posted his own thoughts on 2001, from the Rainiers perspective. Memories! That was around the time I started paying attention to minor league baseball… If Robles starts on Monday, which is possible, the Rainiers will have gone through a full turn through the rotation with nothing but left-handers starting for them… In Seddon’s previous three outings, he went eight total innings and gave up sixteen runs. Owwww… We might not have won Friday’s game if Limonta and Langerhans hadn’t both thrown out runners at home.

Jackson Generals (4-2 this week, 10-14 in second half, 48-46 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, July 11th 2011
Birmingham 5 (CHW – 1), Jackson 10
W: Carraway (7-1, 3.26) L: Doyle (3-4, 3.54)

Tuesday, July 12th 2011
Off day

Wednesday, July 13th 2011
Jackson 1, Carolina 2 (CIN + 1)
W: McCulloch (3-4, 5.20) L: Stanton (0-3, 3.80) S: Hamulack (2)

Thursday, July 14th 2011
Jackson 10, Carolina 7 (CIN 0)
W: Paxton (1-0, 2.79) L: Villarreal (3-2, 5.21) S: Delabar (9)

Friday, July 15th 2011
Jackson 9, Carolina 6 (CIN – 1)
W: Ramirez (7-6, 4.74) L: Klinker (5-6, 5.00)

Saturday, July 16th 2011
Jackson 4, Carolina 3 (CIN – 2)
W: Wilhelmsen (3-4, 5.09) L: Hynick (1-2, 3.91) S: Delabar (10)

Sunday, July 17th 2011
Jackson 3, Carolina 4 (CIN – 1)
W: Mobley (1-2, 6.75) L: Moran (3-3, 6.69)

Hitter of the Week:
1B Rich Poythress, R/R, 8/11/1987
6 G, 23 AB, 5 R, 9 H, 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4/3 K/BB, .391/.462/.783

Poythress’ double-A transition has been an item of interest for me all season. You may remember that after he was drafted in 2009, he negotiated his way into getting assigned to the Southern League and only hit .230/.337/.287 through twenty-six games. Last year, in the Cal League, he led the minor leagues in RBI with 130 and didn’t really show any glaring split issues aside from hitting them out at cheaper parks to start the season. I can’t say I really anticipated him struggling as much as he has, entering the league’s all-star break batting .224/.304/.390. The walks were there at times, but not to the same extent they were in California, and the home run production had plummeted. Entering Sunday’s game, where he had a 2-for-3 effort and a walk, he had been hitting .313/.383/.470 in the second half, which is quite the improvement. He’s also been running even or near even eye numbers. This week, he managed to take advantage of a not-great Carolina pitching staff, but the second half has already seen series against Chattanooga, Mississippi, and Montomgery, all legitimate staffs. Poythress is sure trying to regain the ground he lost over the first three months of the season.

Swinging for the Fences, and Nothing Else Mention:
RF Johermyn Chavez, R/R, 1/26/1989
6 G, 25 AB, 5 R, 6 H, 4 HR, 5 RBI, 6/1 K/BB, .240/.240/.720

Hitting Catcher, Sort Of Mention:
C Brandon Bantz, R/R, 1/7/1987
6 G, 21 AB, 4 R, 9 H, 4 RBI, 2/2 K/BB, .381/.434/.381

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP James Paxton, 11/6/1988
1-0, GS, 1.80 ERA in 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (ER), 11/1 K/BB, 4/0 G/F

Paxton experienced some level of jitters in his Southern League debut. It was understandable, as he was vaulting over High Desert and the advanced-A to double-A jump is usually difficult enough as is. The first outing in the books had him at three runs (two earned) through four and two-thirds innings, six hits, three walks, only one strikeout. The next time out, he walked just one and more than two-thirds of the outs he recorded were Ks. The home run came against Neftali Soto, whose slugging percentage is close to .600 now. Carolina isn’t a great team, as the BA folks mentioned, but they also aren’t the type to strike out eleven times in five innings. Now the walks, we’ll have to look at again next time out, because the Mudcats rank third-to-last in the league while the Montgomery Biscuits, next up on the schedule, rank fourth.

Same OBP Caveats Applying, But Longest Outing of the Year Mention:
RHP Tom Wilhelmsen, 12/16/1983
1-0, GS, 3.52 ERA in 7.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 5/2 K/BB, 9/3 G/F, HB

Hello and Goodbye Mention:
LHP Mauricio Robles, 3/5/1989
0-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, 2 H, 3/4 K/BB, 5/3 G/F, WP

From the Training Room:
Robles left, so RHP Stephen Pryor came in from High Desert. Pryor has been great the past month or so, and I see no reason to complain about this one… Saturday afternoon, regular CF Brandon Haveman hit the DL and OF Kuo-hui Lo came in from High Desert to replace him. Haveman was running a streak of six consecutive multi-hit games when he got injured, including a 9-for-16 run this week that saw him hit two doubles and a home run. Nick Franklin is still on the DL. So are Colina, Martinez-Esteve, and Tenbrink from the lineup and Hill and Kasparek on the pitching staff.

Strange Happenings:
Since it’s relevant with us revisiting the 2001 Mariners season, David Bell couldn’t come out because he was too busy managing the Carolina team that the Generals squared off against this week. The Mariners connections don’t stop there though: the Reds’ triple-A club is managed by Rick Sweet and the advanced-A squad, by Ken Griffey, Sr. Bryan Price, of course, is the pitching coach for Cincinnati … In a more obscure grab for an M’s connection Tim Hamulack pitches for Carolina, and was in our system pitching for both San Antonio and Tacoma in 2003… Chavez has twelve home runs on the season, which means that a third of this year’s home run production has come in the past week.

High Desert Mavericks (2-4 this week, 10-14 in second half, 42-52 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, July 11th 2011
Off day

Tuesday, July 12th 2011
Lancaster 4 (HOU – 5), High Desert 5
W: Pryor (1-0, 7.67) L: Alvino (2-3, 4.83) S: Kahn (1)

Wednesday, July 13th 2011
Lancaster 6 (HOU – 6), High Desert 7
W: Jimenez (3-1, 5.51) L: Berner (1-1, 5.53)

Thursday, July 14th 2011
Lancaster 13 (HOU – 5), High Desert 7
W: Ness (3-3, 5.79) L: Maurer (2-4, 6.38)

Friday, July 15th 2011
Lancaster 13 (HOU – 6), High Desert 6
W: Cisnero (5-8, 6.75) L: Sorce (6-6, 4.15)

Saturday, July 16th 2011
Bakersfield 13 (CIN – 7), High Desert 9
W: Partch (5-10, 5.65) L: Sena (0-1, 5.73)

Sunday, July 17th 2011
Bakersfield 11 (CIN – 6), High Desert 10
W: Crabbe (3-3, 3.65) L: Medina (1-9, 6.75) S: Salinas (8)

Hitter of the Week:
IF Shaver Hansen, S/R, 12/19/1987
6 G, 21 AB, 11 R, 11 H, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 2 RBI, 8/3 K/BB, HBP, .524/.600/.857

I’ve seen players over the years who seem to like hitting in High Desert. They get a few balls up in the air, they go pretty far, it’s nice. Hansen loves hitting in High Desert. Like you don’t even understand. We’re working with a twenty game sampling here, split evenly between home and road, but Hansen is .529/.600/.794 at home while with the Mavs and .211/.302/.368 on the road. His career minor league line, discounting Sunday’s game, is .226/.302/.349. What’s kind of weird about this all is that, while he strikes out twice as much at home, the walk rates are the same in both places and he’s actually seen half of his road hits so far go for extras and only 27.8% of his home hits. I don’t get it. I don’t know what there is to get. If I had a time machine, I’d try to trade him to the pre-2002 Colorado Rockies.

Is Just Friends with High Desert Mention:
3B Jake Schlander, R/R, 8/4/1988
6 G, 22 AB, 5 R, 10 H, 4 2B, 4 RBI, 5/3 K/BB, .455/.520/.636

Is Merely on Good Terms with High Desert Mention:
SS Gabriel Noriega, R/R, 9/13/1990
6 G, 25 AB, 3 R, 9 H, 2 2B, 7 RBI, CS, 5/1 K/BB, .360/.384/.440

Still Slugging and Not Really Walking Mention:
CF Denny Almonte, S/R, 9/24/1988
6 G, 27 AB, 6 R, 11 H, 4 HR, 14 RBI, SB, 6/1 K/BB, .407/.429/.851

Now Closing in on Fifty Stolen Bases Mention:
OF Daniel Carroll, R/R, 1/6/1989
6 G, 27 AB, 3 R, 9 H, 2B, 2 RBI, 4 SB, 2 CS, 10/4 K/BB, HBP, .333/.438/.379

Hitting Catcher Returns Mention:
C Trevor Coleman, S/R, 1/19/1988
5 G, 15 AB, 4 R, 4 H, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, CS, 3/6 K/BB, .267/.455/.533

Still Doing the Second Half Thing Mention:
RF/1B James Jones, L/L, 9/24/1988
6 G, 27 AB, 3 R, 9 H, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 5 SB, CS, 6/3 K/BB, .333/.407/.400

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Forrest Snow, 12/30/1988
0-0, GS, 3.86 ERA in 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1/2 K/BB, 7/4 G/F, 2 HB

Pitching was so bad this week that I’m going to bypass trying to name an honorable mention. This is just what mid-to-late summer homestands are like. That context does make the outing by Snow all the more impressive however. It’s one thing to pitch seven innings at Inland Empire, as he did last week, and quite another to manage it at home in Adelanto. His past three outings have all seen him reach seven innings, and two of them have been in extremely unfavorable climates (Lancaster, to start the set). The weird thing about all that is that in those twenty-one innings, he’s only struck out twelve, which is within the worrying range, certainly. It’s probably part of the reason why tRA hates him at this level, coupled with the six home runs over his first three appearances, an effect of him leaving the ball up a fair amount (full disclosure: tRA really liked him in Clinton). Snow has been surviving though, and learning from recent outings, so it seems possible that there’s more in there to be tapped. Six starts isn’t everything.

From the Training Room:
Coleman returned, which meant that IF Yidid Batista was no longer necessary and the organization sent him back to Arizona. 3B Steve Proscia was also assigned to the Mavs, but didn’t debut until Friday. Hit his first home run on Sunday, though. Later, UT Roberto Velasquez went back to Peoria and RHP Tim Boyce landed on the DL, again… As Pryor left, RHP Keli’i Zablan came in from Clinton… The Generals needed a centerfielder in Lo, so what did the Mavs do to replace him on the roster? Bring in hot-hitting CF Alfredo Morales from Peoria.

Strange Happenings:
In news that may only interest me, the closer for Bakersfield is Douglas Salinas. Salinas was a big signing for us back in 2005 who was released after the 2008 season having gotten as far as Everett without doing a whole lot. Then he was in the Rays system for a year, with much better command, and has been good at times in the Reds system this year.

Clinton Lumberkings (2-4 this week, 12-11 in second half, 36-57 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, July 11th 2011
Clinton 8, Beloit 2 (MIN + 2)
W: Fernandez (3-2, 3.32) L: Achter (2-2, 4.98)

Tuesday, July 12th 2011
Off day

Wednesday, July 13th 2011
Great Lakes 2 (LA + 1), Clinton 6
W: Walker (4-4, 2.66) L: Christenson (7-6, 4.52)

Thursday, July 14th 2011
Great Lakes 3 (LA + 2), Clinton 1
W: Montgomery (4-1, 3.67) L: Burgoon (5-4, 1.76) S: Acosta (2)

Friday, July 15th 2011
Great Lakes 6 (LA + 3), Clinton 1
W: Lee (6-3, 3.21) L: Reed (2-2, 3.41)

Saturday, July 16th 2011
Lansing 8 (TOR + 6), Clinton 5 (eleven innings)
W: Griffith (3-0, 1.59) L: Hesketh (0-1, 4.76) S: Barnes (7)

Sunday, July 17th 2011
Lansing 7 (TOR + 7), Clinton 2
W: Lawrence (7-8, 3.67) L: Fernandez (3-3, 3.69)

Hitter of the Week:
1B Tim Morris, L/L, 12/11/1987
6 G, 22 AB, 2 R, 6 H, 2B, 3B, HR, 6 RBI, SB, CS, 5/3 K/BB, .273/.360/.545

I sometimes wonder if the main reason Morris plays at first and not some other infield position is the same reason as me: he throws left-handed, and that makes things tricky. Consider that his four triples rank second on the team behind the injured Julio Morban, or that his stolen bases rank second with fifteen, behind Kalian Sams who somehow snuck his way into twenty-one (he runs well for a big guy). It’s strange to me that he’s never been tried in the outfield once as a pro with the way he’s able to use his speed. If he played anywhere else, we would talk about him as a kind of tweener whose offense wouldn’t likely justify putting him at first. As he is, he’s about the oddest first baseman I can remember coming up through the system in a while.

Still Slugging, Still Not Walking Mention:
RF Kalian Sams, R/R, 8/25/1986
6 G, 26 AB, 2 R, 7 H, 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB, 9/0 K/BB, .269/.269/.538

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Taijuan Walker, 8/13/1992
1-0, GS, 2.00 ERA in 9.0 IP, 2 H (HR), 2 R, 7/1 K/BB, 10/4 G/F

Wednesday evening, Taijuan Walker threw a complete game against Great Lakes. It was the first nine-inning complete game for Clinton since Kenn Kasparek did it nearly two years ago (Erasmo Ramirez and Anthony Vasquez had shortened complete games last season). If you want to find an outing where Walker pitched fewer than five innings or struck out fewer than six, you’d have to go back to June 7th when he had back problems from sleeping wrong and was pulled after two innings. If you’re taking that out, you’d have to go even further back to May 21st against Peoria when he pitched just 4.2 innings with three Ks. But, as was the case with Paxton, you can’t get too excited about the walk totals here as Great Lakes is middle of the pack when it comes to walks and on-base percentage. When Walker was up against Beloit and Quad Cities, both in the top three for on-base percentage, he walked five and four, respectively. Lansing holds the top spot, and he’ll get his test against them this morning.

Too Early to Talk About a Comeback? Mention:
LHP Tony Butler, 11/18/1987
0-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 4 H, 9/2 K/BB, 3/3 G/F, PO, WP

From the Training Room:
With Zablan heading out, the Lumberkings activated LHP Jonathan Hesketh from a DL stint spanning nearly a month. LHP Edlando Seco hit the DL on Sunday, bringing in RHP Matt Bischoff from Everett.

Strange Happenings:
Walker was the first to throw a complete game for the Lumberkings this year, but LHP Anthony Fernandez had a shot on Monday, when he let two (one earned) score on seven hits and nine Ks. He pitched against three batters in the ninth before getting the hook. You won’t see him above in the pitcher rankings because on Sunday, he let five score through five and two-thirds innings and ran a 3/4 K/BB… Manager Eddie Menchaca was ejected in the eleventh inning of Saturday’s game. From the looks of it, the bases were loaded for the Lumberkings with two outs and Sams is on record as having grounded out to second, but if he had beaten the throw or reached when the first baseman didn’t have a foot on the bag, the Lumberkings would have walked off with it instead of losing by three runs… Romero also had two home runs this week, but since he played in four of the six games, I decided not to put him in the running for Hitter of the Week.

Everett Aquasox (4-2 this week, 13-17 overall)

Monday, July 11th 2011
Everett 4, Boise 0 (CHC + 3)
W: Whitmore (2-2, 4.63) L: Liria (2-1, 2.84) S: Bischoff (5)

Tuesday, July 12th 2011
Off day

Wednesday, July 13th 2011
Spokane 6 (TEX + 2), Everett 3
W: Mendoza (2-1, 6.00) L: Pries (0-1, 6.43) S: Hendricks (1)

Thursday, July 14th 2011
Spokane 9(TEX + 1), Everett 16
W: Griffin (1-0, 3.07) L: Payano (1-3, 5.75)

Friday, July 15th 2011
Spokane 2 (TEX 0), Everett 8
W: Campos (2-2, 3.16) L: Hanna (0-1, 5.32) S: Buursma (1)

Saturday, July 16th 2011
Spokane 7 (TEX + 1), Everett 5
W: Monegro (2-0, 2.55) L: Diaz (1-2, 6.28) S: Hendricks (2)

Sunday, July 17th 2011
Spokane 5 (TEX 0), Everett 6
W: Griffin (2-0, 2.87) L: Perez-Lobo (1-1, 10.50)

Hitter of the Week:
LF/CF Nathan Melendres, R/R, 4/4/1990
5 G, 17 AB, 6 R, 8 H, HR, 5 RBI, SB, 0/2 K/BB, .471/.526/.647

Hitting this week was mostly done by those listed as outfielders on the roster, which is good in that there are six of them available at any given time. Burgess and Blash missed out on qualifying, but Melendres stuck, so we’ll go with him. He hit his first pro home run on Sunday, which is nice, but he has some pop. The stranger thing, to me, is that instead of hitting ninth and acting as a second leadoff man, as he has been with Brady and Littlewood at the top of the order, Melendres has been hitting sixth more often of late, putting him in a run producing role even though for the season he only has been having a quarter of his hits go for extra bases. It’s an odd maneuver, but if a guy seems like he can hit a bit, you might as well use him to drive in a run if you lack other options. The Aquasox as a team have a .710 OPS, good for third to last in the league, even if they are well ahead of both Boise and Yakima. If this is what works for them, so be it.

Minus One in the Total Bases Column Mention:
RF Mario Yepez, S/R, 6/15/1988
5 G, 17 AB, 4 R, 8 H, 2 2B, 3/2 K/BB, .471/.526/.588

Found Power, Lost Contact Mention:
DH James Wood, L/L, 12/19/1987
6 G, 23 AB, 7 R, 5 H, 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, SB, 10/4 K/BB, .217/.321/.565

See Ball, Hit Ball Mention:
1B/3B Jharmidy de Jesus, R/R, 8/30/1989
6 G, 23 AB, 4 R, 9 H, 2B, 3 RBI, SB, 6/1 K/BB, .391/.417/.435

Pitcher of the Week
RHP Vicente Campos, 7/27/1992
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 2 H, 8/2 K/BB, 7/2 G/F

I promised Campos would appear here eventually, so here he is. Spokane is the second-best hitting team in the league, with a team line of .272/.352/.400, and this is what he did to them. From the end of the first, he retired ten of eleven, seven of them on Ks. The runner that reached at the end of the streak came on a throwing error, and he also might have gotten out of the first quicker if not for a caught stealing error there. Of course, if Burgess hadn’t thrown out the runner at home to end the sixth, he might also have had a run score against him. Thus, in this, we merely have a new high in strikeouts and a tie with three other starts for most innings pitched in a start this year.

Devourer of Innings Mention:
LHP Bennett Whitmore, 4/17/1988
1-0, 2 GS, 3.07 ERA in 14.2 IP, 11 H (HR), 4 R, 12/3 K/BB, 19/10 G/F, PO, WP

Ks Keep Climbing Mention:
RHP Steve Landazuri, 1/6/1992
0-0, GS, 4.76 ERA in 5.2 IP, 4 H (HR), 3 R, 9/2 K/BB, 3/3 G/F, HB

From the Training Room:
During Tuesday’s off day, RHP Ben Versnik was activated from his rehab stint in Peoria and 3B Ramon Morla was also added after a similar tour through the desert. The move is likely to diminish de Jesus’ playing time at the hot corner. A day later, Agudelo was added again… No corresponding move yet for Bischoff.

Strange Happenings:
The Spokane Indians lineup features the inferior Guillermo Pimentel which is SUPER DISTRACTING… When Whitmore pitched seven and two-thirds innings on Monday, that was the deepest any starter had gone this year, which is in part a reflection of how young the staff is and how carefully they’re trying to handle them… The Spokane series was the first home series the Aquasox have won this year… Like Landazuri, Shipers struck out nine in a start this week , spanning four and a third innings, but he let five runs cross, four of them earned, and walked four… Marcus Littlewood was 1-for-14 this week. He had a .702 OPS because that one hit was a home run and he walked ten times. The home run was the walk-off which ended Sunday’s game. Consider me suddenly interested… Blash hit two home runs this week, but as was the case with Romero in Clinton, playing in only four of six games is a disqualifier… Yes, the similarities between the weeks of Melendres and Yepez are really, really weird.

Pulaski Mariners (1-5 this week, 12-14 overall)

Monday, July 11th 2011
Off day

Tuesday, July 12th 2011
Pulaski 5, Elizabethton 17 (MIN + 3)
W: Van Steensel (3-0, 3.55) L: Guaipe (3-2, 4.56)

Wednesday, July 13th 2011
Pulaski 3, Elizabethton 6 (MIN + 4)
W: Summers (1-0, 0.00) L: Hunter (1-1, 1.23)

Thursday, July 14th 2011
Pulaski 4, Elizabethton 5 (MIN + 5)
W: Christensen (1-2, 1.96) L: Sabala (0-1, 1.65) S: Boer (5)

Friday, July 15th 2011
Pulaski 1, Bristol 3 (CHW 0)
W: Van Skike (2-0, 3.75) L: Shankin (0-2, 7.11) S: Lane (1)

Saturday, July 16th 2011
Rain out

Sunday, July 17th 2011
Pulaski 6, Bristol 7 (CHW + 1) (seven innings)
W: Merkley (1-0, 5.40) L: Hunter (1-2, 1.62) S: Blough (4)

Pulaski 5, Bristol 2 (0) (seven innings)
W: Raga (1-0, 0.00) L: Kiley (1-2, 2.08)

Hitter of the Week:
3B Michael Acevedo, R/R, 12/5/1990
6 G, 18 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, SB, 4/6 K/BB, .389/.542/.833

Two players that I would point to as being pretty close to opposites in their approaches so far would be Acevedo and Pimentel. Acevedo doesn’t have quite so much in the toolbox, but is as skilled a hitter as you’re likely to find coming up through the summer leagues and is able to punish a ball now and then, as you can see from him increasing his season’s doubles output by 50% this week and tripling his home run totals. The eye numbers are also indicative of a larger trend, as he’s now at a 15/14 K/BB for the season. Meanwhile, Pimentel, though he did manage to walk twice this week (A NEW RECORD), struck out twelve times and had only two hits to show for it. Unless Acevedo went back to playing second, competently at that, and managed to hit about the same as he has been, I wouldn’t expect hi, to show up on many prospects lists, whereas Pimentel will probably rank around fifth for a lot of people. Prospecting can be kind of silly when you get right down to it.

.400+ Average… For the Season Mention:
CF Jamal Austin, R/R, 8/26/1990
6 G, 19 AB, 4 R, 11 H, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 SB, CS, 1/2 K/BB, .578/.590/.684

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Angel Raga, 7/25/1989
1-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, 2 H, 6/1 K/BB, 9/0 G/F

When you allow forty runs to score over the span of forty-five innings as a pitching staff, odds are you aren’t going to have an overflow of positive things to talk about. Raga was an easy pick because he pitched a lot for a reliever and was not terrible. On Sunday, he even got the one Pulaski victory of the week after pitching three and a third innings and allowing two hits and a walk while striking out six. With that performance added to his totals, he now has a .114 average against for the season, a 18/2 K/BB in 13.1 IP, and a ground out/air out of 4.75. Those are Game Genie numbers. Raga had always been interesting to me, but since he pretty much entered the organization and immediately had Tommy John surgery, it was hard to know what exactly he was supposed to be as he was working his way back. What this is, aside from dominant, isn’t clear in the greater scheme of things, but I like it. The negative look on it is that he’s recorded just over 150 innings as a pro, is in his fourth season, and will be turning twenty-two in a week.

Sharkie Watch Mention:
RHP Dylan Unsworth, 9/23/1992
0-0, GS, 2.08 ERA in 4.1 IP, 5 H, R, 4/2 K/BB, 4/2 G/F, PO

From the Training Room:
After RHP John Taylor was signed, his first assignment was Pulaski. Also, RHP Bobby Shore, who had been on the roster not doing much of anything for a while, made his debut on Tuesday.

Strange Happenings:
Somehow, in spite of the 3-4 record last week, the Pitcher and Hitter of the Week from the league offices were Guillermo Pimentel and Reynaldo Sabala, which I think marks the first time I’ve seen two players from the same team win in a week, at least in our system. I suppose it also points out that two great players cannot carry a team on their own… Jose Hernandez, part-time catcher for the M’s, had two home runs with three of six games played. You see where this is going.

Dispatches from the Land of Rehabbers and Teens:
IF Yidid Batista: 17 G, 61 AB, 14 R, 22 H, 2B, 3B, HR, 15 RBI, 7 SB, 3 CS, 7/8 K/BB, .361/.444/.459
2B Felipe Burin: 7 G, 28 AB, 6 H, 2B, 3 RBI, 9/1 K/BB, .214/.241/.250
OF Phillips Castillo: 20 G, 77 AB, 18 R, 23 H, 10 2B, 3B, 8 RBI, 6 SB, 3 CS, 30/5 K/BB, .299/.349/.455
RHP Min-sih Chen: 3-1, 5 GS, 6.04 ERA in 22.1 IP, 24 H, 16 R (15 ER), 14/15 K/BB, HB
RHP David Holman: 2-0, 5 G, 3.48 ERA in 10.1 IP, 14 H (2 HR), 11 R (4 ER), 6/1 K/BB
RHP Kenn Kasparek: 0-0, 2 GS, 3.60 ERA in 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R (2 ER), 5/2 K/BB
OF Reggie Lawson: 18 G, 75 AB, 4 R, 19 H, 2 2B, 3B, 12 RBI, 2 SB, CS, 22/1 K/BB, .253/.269/.307
CF Alfredo Morales: 19 G, 74 AB, 13 R, 30 H, 7 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 8 SB, 2 CS, 19/8 K/BB, .405/.452/.608
RHP Jochi Ogando: 1-2, 5 G (2 GS), 5.50 ERA in 18.0 IP, 17 H, 12 R (11 ER), 11/15 K/BB
SS Esteilon Peguero: 20 G, 87 AB, 14 R, 22 H, 6 2B, 3B, HR, 15 RBI, 12 SB, CS, 11/3 K/BB, .253/.290/.379
LHP Scott Ronnenbergh: 1-0, 6 G (GS), 6.39 ERA in 12.2 IP, 21 H, 13 R (9 ER), 7/7 K/BB
RHP Alex Sunderland: 0-0, 6 G, 2 SV, 4.50 ERA in 8.0 IP, 8 H (HR), 4 R, 13/1 K/BB
LHP Nick Valenza: 0-0, 3 G, 6.75 ERA in 4.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3/2 K/BB


11 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (7/11-17/11)”

  1. Oolon on July 18th, 2011 10:18 am

    Thanks for the updates!

    Another “Strange Happening” at an Aquasox game (I think on Saturday night): A Spokane player arrived at second base (I forget how) and in anticipation of the next batter our third baseman Ramon Morla went over to the pitcher to talk over the situation and probably pick up the rosin bag and throw it to the ground the way infielders like to do.

    The Spokane player on second dashed over to third base – a very unusual stolen base. Apparently time hadn’t been called…

    Our early impressions – Jabari Blash can hit, catcher Mike Dowd can throw, and Jharmidy de Jesus has some learning to do when fielding at first base.

  2. maqman on July 18th, 2011 11:09 am

    Burin is looking a little ordinary now he’s stateside. Alfredo Morales has my attention now, as does Jamal Austin. Paxton and Walker are racking up the K’s, I’m impressed. Wonder what the story is with Franklin? Thanks for all your effort Jay.

  3. joser on July 18th, 2011 2:30 pm

    The Franklin situation certainly is worrisome. The way we’ve seen concussions go — and this clearly wasn’t a mild one, with the nausea and all — it might be a while before he’s cleared to play again, and even longer before he gets back on track.

    The Spokane player on second dashed over to third base – a very unusual stolen base.

    That’s when you want the 3rd baseman to walk back to his position with the ball hidden in his glove…

    At least we reached July before thinking/worrying about the minors was all we have left.

    Thanks for this as always, Jay. And, as always, this is like the Sunday NYTimes — it’ll take me most of the week to get through.

  4. Thoan on July 18th, 2011 3:20 pm

    Time to DL Gutierrez and call up Langerhans. Pretty obvious. There are no favors being done for Gutierrez or the team running him out every day. Aside from his hitting at-bats, some of his routes to balls have looked pretty strange lately. There’s something wrong with him, and Langerhans has earned another look.

    Seriously, why is Agudelo still on the Everett roster? He can’t hit the ball, and he was such a disaster in the infield he was moved to the outfield to minimize the damage. A demotion to Pulaski or Peoria would seem in order, if not outright release.

    How ’bout a USSM night at Everett? Woo hoo!

  5. SonOfZavaras on July 18th, 2011 3:32 pm

    Time to DL Gutierrez and call up Langerhans. Pretty obvious. There are no favors being done for Gutierrez or the team running him out every day.

    I saw Gutierrez hit a ball in Anaheim that absolutely SHOULD have gone out…you can’t possibly be right on a pitch any more than he was on that swing.

    And it was only just shy of a warning track shot.

    I think he needs more recovery time. I’m however more inclined to give the ABs to Saunders instead of Langerhans.

    Langerhans doesn’t have a future with us. Period. And I’m not hot to see him hit .220 yet again.

    Saunders’ star has dimmed, but he’s possibly salvageable. Tacoma has also little left to teach Saunders- why not find out once and for all if Saunders is an AAAA-ballplayer?

  6. SonOfZavaras on July 18th, 2011 3:36 pm

    BTW, sorry Jay. Bad manners. EXCELLENT work…as is per usual.

    It seems to me that Catricala is getting more and more buzz as “legit hitter” in the system- by the day.

    IYO, is there anyone who’s been more of a breakout surprise in the org?

  7. TumwaterMike on July 18th, 2011 4:08 pm

    Saunders isn’t doing that much at Tacoma either. Langerhans has been hot lately. I know there’s not much of a future for him but let him play regularly in CF and finish out the season. Maybe they can get Guti fixed and he can return in September. Also I heard trade rumors for Fister and/or Vargas. Trade Fister to a contender so that maybe he can get a win or two. I’d keep Vargas, because he’s left-handed. Beavan can take Fister’s spot.

    Keep up the good work Jay.

  8. Jay Yencich on July 18th, 2011 4:47 pm

    The Franklin situation certainly is worrisome. The way we’ve seen concussions go — and this clearly wasn’t a mild one, with the nausea and all — it might be a while before he’s cleared to play again, and even longer before he gets back on track.

    Bear in mind that last year, we woefully underestimated how much time it would take Nate Tenbrink to come back from his concussion. I don’t get the impression that Franklin’s is as severe, but we out to be prepared for him to continue to sit out for a while yet.

    Seriously, why is Agudelo still on the Everett roster? He can’t hit the ball, and he was such a disaster in the infield he was moved to the outfield to minimize the damage. A demotion to Pulaski or Peoria would seem in order, if not outright release.

    There’s nothing wrong with having Agudelo around as an organizational player. Anthony Phillips saw Everett three years running and his offense was horrible. Besides, Agudelo at least hit .287/.359/.448 for Pulaski last season. He’s the more extreme version of Acevedo in that he has less of a position and less tools, but there’s no reason to call for the head of an A-baller.

    How ’bout a USSM night at Everett? Woo hoo!

    I’d be down, though my schedule is hectic and I haven’t made it up since the initial homestand.

    Saunders’ star has dimmed, but he’s possibly salvageable. Tacoma has also little left to teach Saunders- why not find out once and for all if Saunders is an AAAA-ballplayer?

    And now Saunders is dealing with the personal issues that sidelined him for a while earlier in the year (no, it wasn’t just the Canucks losing the Stanley Cup, this was serious). I’m getting to the point where I think that he might end up with some kind of major league career, but probably not with us. There’s just too much baggage there.

    It seems to me that Catricala is getting more and more buzz as “legit hitter” in the system- by the day.
    IYO, is there anyone who’s been more of a breakout surprise in the org?

    Cat has become legit, but his position now is still as much of a question as any and it seems like the most realistic scenario probably involves us throwing him at the left field pile.

    Lesser breakouts for me would include Forrest Snow, Brandon Maurer, and Alfredo Morales, whom I really like though I have an inherent distrust of Arizona League stats.

  9. bigpoppa01 on July 18th, 2011 10:03 pm


    Question for you..what does the ex.(TEX +3) tag stand for? Thanks, I always enjoy reading your work.

  10. marc w on July 18th, 2011 11:40 pm

    I’m not Jay, but I’m in the employ of JY Enterprises. The tag lets you know the affiliation of the minor league team (say, TEX for the Rangers) and the number is how far above or below .500 they are. This is a quick and dirty way to show team strength. So, in your example, the M’s played a Rangers affiliate that’s a few games over .500.

    Incidentally, Alfredo Morales moved up to High Desert, which is encouraging. The 18yo was the class of the Arizona League team, and though it may be temporary, this’ll be a good chance to see how he handles advanced pitching. He’s 1-8 with 2BB and 1K in two games so far.

  11. John D. on July 19th, 2011 12:53 am

    BTW, MIKE MORSE, the player we traded to get LANGERHANS, hit his sixteenth (16 !)homer today.
    He’s batting over .300 too.

    John D.

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